'Strictly Ballroon: The Musical' Sydney Opera

HONG KONG – Australian director Baz Luhrmann and costume designer wife Catherine Martin took to the streets of Sydney Sunday to organize a dance extravaganza ahead of the launch of “Strictly Ballroom: The Musical.”

A stage show derived from his 1992 movie “Strictly Ballroom” is set to begin previews in Sydney from March 25, 2014 and an official opening in April at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

Some 30 professional dance pairs led the dancing Sunday outside the Sydney Opera House and in total some 1,200 people took part, claiming a world record for the number of couples dancing the Samba in one place.

“Most people know ‘Strictly Ballroom’ as a movie but it began, as a piece of theatre and now it is an all-singing, all-dancing, live, stage musical,” Luhrmann said. “But it is more than that. As a show it reaches out not only to the audience but also to the community to become involved. That’s what dancing does. It allows everybody to participate so it seemed like a fun and a fitting idea for us all to meet on the forecourt of the Opera House and create a scene together from Strictly Ballroom,”

The show is produced by Global Creatures, directed by Luhrmann, designed by Martin and choreographed by John “Cha Cha’ O’Connell.

“Strictly Ballroom: The Musical” was to have been launched in 2013 but was delayed by the opening of Global Creatures’ “King Kong” stage show in Melbourne, Australia and Luhrmann and Martin’s work on last year’s “The Great Gatsby” movie.

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